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Softwares Management

HandyLinux has three tools to install or uninstall applications, the Software Center (used by default), Synaptic and your Terminal.

Find software

To add a software, we must find it. You can find software :

Many proprietary software does not exist on Linux, this is the case of the Adobe suite (editing photos, editing videos …).
There are many software more or less equal and accessible. Here is a good site to find free apps : awesomecow.com

For a list of recommended softwares, visit the dedicated section.


HandySoft is the default software manager since HandyLinux-2.3

Thuban (again) wrote a simplified software management tool : HandySoft (Thanks dyp for the name). You can start it from the HandyMenu, “Adventurer” section, or from the “system” section of the application list. It looks like this :

Look for a software

The main wondow of handysoft has a research bar. Write in what you're looking for.

Press “Enter” or click on the “Search” icon (small magnifying glasse) to search. HandySoft will look in packages names and description for the words you wrote. You can only search in package name if you tick off “Names + Descriptions”.
Is there are matching results, they will appear in the window.

  • The first column shows if the package is already installed,
  • Second columns : the name of the package,
  • Third column : a short description of the package.

To have more information on a package, doucle-click on it. A new window will open, with a bigger description and a screenshot.

Install or delete a software

In the description window, you will find a button (“Install” or “Delete”) to click on to install or delete the program. A password will be asked. It's normal operation since you modify important parts of the system.

You can follow the installation process by clicking on the little arrow. If there is any problem during installation/removal process, you can easily copy the content of the terminal thanks to the “Copy” button.

One the process is done, a “Close” button will show up. Click on it to go back to handysoft main window.

You might have noticed the buttons at the bottom of the window. They give access to the full software library or go back to the simple research.

The software library

If you press the “Software” button, you fill find all packages sorted in different categories. Walk around them to find and install what you need.

There are two special categories. The first contains suggested packages selected by the handylinux community. Then, the “Expert” section give you access to the more sophisticated package manager Synaptic which is harder to use but more complete.

System update

HandySoft has a button to “Check for updates”. More details on the dedicated page.


  • You can use regular expression in the research. The most useful is to use the “*” symbol, matching any caracter. As example, writing *ffice match openoffice and libreoffice.
  • If there is no avaiable screenshot for a package, you can upload one if you right-click on the missing picture.

Gdebi: independant package installer

Since HandyLinux-2.3, external package installation is handled by Gdebi.


Software Center

“Packages” is the default software manager before HandyLinux-2.3

If you're this far, you manage a little bit your computer and your insatiable curiosity pushed you to the adventure.
Debian softwares repository is the open door to free softwares, efficients and virus free.

Interface Overview

Software Center is launched by HandyMenu > Raiders section, and gives you an easy to use interface:

  • #1 Packages menu : a simple menu that can act on the selected software, sorting the displayed software, update your system, manage deposits or close the application. More details in the next section.
  • #2 Search bar : it allows to seek applications from the available software. Note that it is better to reload the information from the menu> “Refresh package lists” before launching a search.
  • #3 Sections/Categories : the side panel lists the categories to narrow your search. The packages are displayed in the main panel.
  • #4 Main panel : it displays the packages of the selected category or search results. If you select a package, the information and options appear at the bottom of the main panel.

Find, Install, Remove software

All these actions are simplified by the interface of the Software Manager: Enter the name of the software in the search bar. Once your selected software, all options are displayed at the bottom of the window. To install the application, simply click on “Install Package”.

You can then search/select additional packages. When done, “Apply Changes” on the top right of the window :

Your password will be requested then the Packages Manager downloads, configures and installs your package. It will be available in the Applications list:

Remove software

First select your software to delete as above, but choose “Remove a package.” Your password will be requested and will remove your package repository :)

et voilà :-)

Install external deb package

Software Manager also allows you to install a package downloaded from the net. These packages are in the form “packagename.deb”. The procedure is simple:

  • From your file manager Thunar, right-click on the “.deb package” to install, then choose “Open with Package install.”
  • The installation process starts after confirmation and password information. The packages needed for the proper functioning of your software (“dependencies”) are automatically added during installation.
  • et voilà :D


Synaptic is the complete graphic interface of your Debian package manager . It allows you a full view of the proposed packages, installed or not. It is much more detailed than the Software Center because it shows the entirety of available packages (libraries included).


Synaptic starts from the HandyMenu section “Raiders”, button “List of Applications”, then choose “Synaptic Package Manager” in the category “system.” Your password will be requested.
At first launch, an information window will appear to briefly explains the functioning of Synaptic.

So the main window presents to you all the available packages. At first launch, you need to click “Reload” in the toolbar to reload the package information, be informed of new packages, removing packages or available updates.
Installed packages are marked with a green square, the new packages by a star, the packages to be uninstall are pink or red ( uninstall or purge). packages to install are green.
Interface details :

  • 1 - menu bar : actions on the packages and synaptic configuration
  • 2 - Toolbar : retake some of the tools in the menu bar
  • 3 - main window : list of available packages
  • 4 - filters panel : can select all or part of available packages by selected criteria
  • 5 - description : when a package is selected, its description is displayed here
  • 6 - status bar : little useful information


Note that Synaptic can be used as it and does not need a particular configuration. For basic use, you can switch to next chapter.

Configuration of Synaptic goes through the Settings tab of the menu bar . You can set your preferences, your deposits (the sources of your software), your filters, define an internal option (for experts only) manage the appearance of your toolbar.


Well named section. As in most applications, the famous “Preferences” section …
But keep in mind that Synaptic is not like other software : it manages all the programs installed on your system. When you delete a program, it does not go in the trash.
After these warnings a little creepy, let's go to the available settings. The preferences window has six tabs:

  • General : entries are explicit. Precision about the “Consider recommended packages as dependencies” entry: HandyLinux is configured to not install recommended packages to ease the system. If your machine is powerful enough, you can activate the recommended packages here
  • Columns and fonts : allows to show/hide some columns in the list of packages and adjust the font if necessary.
  • Colours : choose here the respective colors of the packets according to their state.
  • Files : when you install a program, it is first stored in cache in a directory on your system before being unpacked and installed. These packages can take place as and when your usage. Here you can delete or configure an automatic action.
  • Network : how Synaptic is connected to the Internet. If your situation requires changing these settings, you'll know (proxy-users) :)
  • Distribution : how to perform updates. explicit. If in doubt, do not change.


Deposits are servers on which are stored Debian packages. HandyLinux uses several Debian repositories and the specific HandyLinux repository.
Deposits are in the form of internet addresses, complemented details on the distribution (HandyLinux is based on Debian Jessie/Stable) and the categories (HandyLinux uses “main”,“contrib” and “non-free”)
You can enable or desable one or more repositories, but also add some. As HandyLinux is great beginners oriented, please visit our forum to know how to modify your repositories.


This section allows you to change the filters present in the section “Customized filters” at the bottom left of the window of Synaptic . Entries are explicit. I do not advise you to change the present filters, but you can add to narrow your search.

Intern option

This section allows you to change the internal behavior of Synaptic and therefore, how to manage packages on HandyLinux .
If you choose this distribution, but you want “work in the config package”, so come on the forum to learn how …: D

Tools bar

Show, hide, icons, text or both the choice is yours ..

Using Synaptic

Synaptic enables you to install, uninstall software, but also to update your system.

Install or remove software

More detailed Synaptic interface relative to the repository implies that you know the name of the software to install or remove … otherwise search in 35000 packages listed may be long …

To install a software :

  • click “Refresh” to update the package list and the changes since your last use.
  • look for the package to install with built-in search, scrolling the list, or click on a package, and then typing the first few letters of the package to install.
  • right-click the package and select “Mark for Installation” :
  • an information window tells you to install additional packages :
  • once selected your software for installation, click on “Apply” to start the installation process :
  • a confirmation will be asked :
  • then the installation begins :
  • once done, an information window is displayed :
  • et voilà :D

To remove a software : same as above, but choose “Mark for (Complete) Removal” :

  • Removal: uninstalls the selected software
  • Complete Removal: uninstalls the selected software and purge the associated configuration files.

System update

Synaptic is able to update all the software installed on your system. The procedure is quite simple :

  • click “Refresh” to refresh the information about available software, installed or not.
  • click “Update All level” to select the available updates
  • click on “Apply” to perform the operations. A confirmation window will appear to verify the packages to update and the necessary changes (packages to delete, add, etc …)
  • et voilà :D


The Debian Software Center and the Synaptic Package Manager are only some graphical interfaces of the apt and aptitude commands that manage packages in Debian. These commands are available directly from a terminal (HandyMenu > Raiders > Open a terminal)

Here are the basic commands for managing debian packages on HandyLinux:

sudo apt-get update refresh the list of available packages and the regarding information
sudo apt-get install package install the “package”. eg: sudo apt-get install gimp
sudo apt-get remove package uninstall the “package”.
sudo apt-get remove --purge package uninstalls the “package” and its configuration files.
sudo apt-get clean cleans packages cache on the system
sudo apt-get autoremove eliminates unnecessary packages
sudo apt-get upgrade upgrade packages
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade upgrade distribution
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -s simulates the upgrade, which will test without breaking your system if an update involves uninstalling any other packages already in your system.
sudo apt-get check allows to update the package cache and looking for broken dependencies.
sudo apt-cache search package allows searching a package.
sudo apt-cache policy package show the availability of a package, his version and in which deposits it is
sudo dpkg -i paquet install external deb package
en/packages.txt · Dernière modification: 2016/01/10 02:31 par arpinux